West Coast trio Tha Alkaholiks (a.k.a. Tha Liks) carved out their own fun-loving lane in the ’90s with the albums 21 & Over, Coast II Coast and Likwidation, collaborating with legends such as Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Q-Tip and Madlib along the way.
Their commercial peak wouldn’t come until 2001, though, when Tash, J-Ro and E-Swift released their fourth album X.O. Experience, which debuted at No. 47 on the Billboard 200. The project was buoyed by the single “Best U Can,” produced by one of the biggest hitmakers on the planet at the time, The Neptunes.
In a clip from their newly-released Drink Champs interview with N.O.R.E. and DJ EFN, the L.A. natives revealed how Pharrell (who also handled hook duties on “Best U Can”) had to pitch them on the song, with his argument resting on the influence it’ll have on female fans at shows.
“Pharrell sold that shit. He made me think differently as a producer,” E-Swift said. “He told us, ‘Look, when you start doing this live at shows, bitches gonna get on stage and pull their titties out.’
Tash added, “He was like, ‘Don’t do this song without bitches on stage.’ And ever since then, we ain’t never did a show without bitches on stage!”
Lo and behold, Pharrell was right. “The first show we did and we did that song, what happened?” E-Swift asked rhetorically. “So I was like, ‘This guy’s a visionary!’ He had the vision, bro, and we went with it and it worked.”
Further vindicating Skateboard P’s prediction, “Can U Be” cracked the top 20 of Billboard’s Hot Rap Songs chart and has since become Tha Alkaholiks’ most successful song. “That sold the most records we ever sold, singles wise,” Tash concluded.
Women have long played a central role in Pharrell’s music and life, with the superproducer waxing poetic about the opposite sex during his own Drink Champs interview in 2020.
“Women are the greatest gift to us,” he said. “They actually give us life. I don’t understand hating women in any way, shape or form because that’s forgetting where you actually come from. Every last human being walking around here came from a woman. How could you hate what gave you life?”
He added, “I love them from a loving place, I love them from a lustful place, I love them all the way around. They’ve always been a huge motivational force for my music. Women were always the concern like, ‘Okay, what are the girls going to think when they hear this beat?’ Or, ‘How are they are going to feel when they hear this melody?'”
Of course, Pharrell also titled his 2014 solo album G I R L, which featured songs such as “Marilyn Monroe,” “Lost Queen” and “It Girl.”
Listen to Tha Alkaholiks’ full Drink Champs interview below.